Late Keegal try downs Army

Navy SC’s hero Lee Keegal on his way to scoring the match-winning try in their Dialog ‘A’ division rugby match against Army SC . (Pic by Thilak Perera)

Navy Sports Club recorded a thrilling 25 points (3 tries, 2 conversions, 1 drop goal, 1 penalty) to 24 (3 tries, 3 conversions, 1 penalty) win against the fighting Army Sports Club in a close Dialog inter-club ‘A’ Division rugby match played at the Racecourse International Stadium yesterday. At half time Navy led 20-10.

Navy started off brilliantly, and raced to a score of 20 points against 10 with a two-try blitz in the first half. But Army did well to comeback in the second half with a fiery display as the sailors slowed down the pace of the game. Army opened scoring with a superb 45 metre penalty slotted in by full back Gayan Salinda to go into a 3-nil lead. The sailors equalled the score with a fine 30-metre drop goal fired across by fly half Chanaka Chandimal.

Navy centre Lee Keegel was the first to score a try when he took the ball over the line after receiving a neat pass from Chandimal with the game 18 minutes old. Score 10-3.

Army made it 10-all with a try through centre Hapugaskumbura which was converted by Salinda. The sailors played at a good pace and recorded another first half try through hooker Dulanjana Wijesinghe and a 35-metre penalty through Weerasinghe who converted both. Teams went in for half time with Navy leading 20-10.

On resumption Army reduced the deficit with two tries through their forward Silva and centre Imanka Ariyapala which made the score 24-20 in favour of the soldiers.

The visitors had plenty of chances of breaching the Army line, but their moves lacked the finishing touches, despite the presence of so many reputed players in the side.

Navy sealed the game in the dying stages when Chandimal made a brilliant cross kick deep into the Army territory which was collected beautifully by Keegal who darted down to score the match winning try thus bringing a sensational victory for the sailors. Wijesinghe missed the conversion.

Referee: Aruna Rankothge. 

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